Yes, I’m top 14 and I get to go to China for two weeks. $3,000 is a lot to pay though. But it’s a chance of a lifetime, to be on tour and appear on national television in China! Plus I’ll have a photo shoot in the city? Awesome!
In a blur of a week, I attended 2 fittings, 1 sponsor visit, 2 photo shoots, 1 taping session, and each time I was dolled up by very skilled makeup artists. Good thing I have such nice skin, I really do need to take better care of it. Okay, no makeup during the week, exfoliate, moisturize and use masks. I felt sorry for one girl who got an eye infection that caused her eyelid to swell up like a bee sting.
The fittings and sponsor visit were the only times it took place in Manhattan. I’ll talk about each and try not to complain too much.
We each get a tailors cocktail dress courtesy of Cindy Ma. The dress is strapless with a zipper on the side. Our theme color is purple and the dress we received for the final show in a gorgeous qi pao (旗袍）styled evening gown. A block of time was put aside for us to go in the first time. I went during my lunch hours and finished it in less than 10 minutes. I didn’t see many others there, but that was probably an indication on the level of seriousness people placed on the fact.
What transpired was an angry chairman telling us how irresponsible and immature we were for wasting Cindy’s time and not going to the fitting. Turns out, only about half of us went. Fine, you a right to be angry. Just don’t lump everyone into that category. What about the girl that did go to the fitting? Plus, people have other priorities. Marie likes to complain but not without reason.
The second time around, everyone was much better about fitting because it was the last chance to make alterations. I remember mine was way to big for me, which I categorized it as maybe they just measured wrong. I forgot to remember the fact that I probably lost several inches all around after a month of my weight loss regime.
The sponsor visit was a chaotic day for me. I rushed over after work, arriving as early as I could possible afford, and still all the girls had left at the point. My makeup and hair was rushed and my entire being was all wounded up like a spring. I am not happy about this. Why do I have to visit sponsors? I haven’t eaten all day. Marie was pissed, but on the other side was Cat the complete opposite. I feel really bad. Everyone is so nice and forgiving. I feel bad for making everyone work extra for me. It’s like having the angel and the devil on my shoulders, except neither are purely evil or nice.
First stop was Chinatown. We went to several jewelry stores and took pictures with all the employees. Free advertisement! I can’t complain since they sponsor us and I have an obligation. We also visited beauty salons, one of which dangled food in my face and refused to give us time to eat or leave at the very end.
How dare you offer us cheap Chinese pastries and not let us eat them! You might be our sponsor but you don’t own me!
So hungry. Must keep smiling though. It’s almost over.
Another picture? No, I don’t want to take a picture with you. Fine, I will, it’s not like I can refuse. Okay, fine, just one more.
Finally, we get back in the van and drive away. Food is passed around and gone in a flash.
Okay, where are we going now? Oh, looks like we’re going to Flushing. Gah, more pictures.
The two places I didn’t mind going to were Imperial Studio and Fashion Hair Mode. I frequented this studio very often and the makeup artist, Lily, was always nice to me and always do an amazing job with my face. Micheal from Hair Mode is also amazing. I went there with tri-colored hair and walked out with the most perfect color, highlight and cut.
More pictures, blah, blah. Luckily this was in the summer and the day is long. It must have been 6 by the time we went back to the city for dinner. “Sponsor Dinner” at the Golden Unicorn turned out to be actually quite delicious. What made a lot of girls uncomfortable was the fact that we sat with older Chinese men, who were our sponsors, and had to appear lady-like while eating. The girls were young so they’re not used to it all, but I was perfectly happy eating all the delicious food that was served.
I can happily talk if needed or I can stay silent and just eat. Either way, finally, food! I’ve been around the block enough to know they pose no real harm. Nothing to make a huge deal out of. I’ll play along though.
The night ended with a sponsor telling me I owe him a song. Whatever, I’m never going to see you again so sure, no problem. Smile. So full… That fried rice was delicious. The lobster tasted a bit funny, but all-in-all, not a bad way to end a very long day.